“See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends, for love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness…For each of the creatures is a sign of God, and it was by the grace of the Lord and His power that each did step into the world; therefore they are not strangers, but in the family; not aliens, but friends, and to be treated as such.”
For nearly four decades the Bahá’í House of Worship has welcomed millions of people from every background irrespective of their creed, nationality, caste, gender and ethnicity, to “offer their silent prayers, side by side, to the one Creator of all humanity”.
In addition to being a place of worship and an expression of unity, the House of Worship or Temple as it is known is also the “nerve center” for the spiritual, social and material progress of communities near and far.
On its premises, programmes are held for the spiritual and moral education for children and young adolescents, and circles of study where youth and adults systematically explore how spiritual principles can be applied to their lives. The Temple has become a center for nurturing an educational process that seeks to build capacity in populations to take charge of their own development. Graduates of these programs are now in the vanguard of the spiritual and material progress of their communities, educating and nurturing their younger generations, engaging in meaningful dialogue and conversation with local authorities and institutions about the social and cultural issues in their community, and taking up social action for change.
In addition, over the years, the Bahá’í community has come to refer to one aspect of its efforts to contribute to the advancement of civilization as participation in the discourses of society. The Information Centre within the premises of the Temple serves as a venue for such ongoing discourses on subjects as the equality of women and men, the constructive role that religion must play in society, the role of media in promoting social betterment and so on organised by the Office of Public Affairs of the Bahá’ís of India.